Sunday, October 23, 2011

SALAT and Divine Communion

In his Friday Sermon of October 21, 2011 Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib continued the subject of Islamic prayer and reflected upon the psychological benefits of Salat. 

Beyond the psychological benefits to the human body and mind, Salat offers the real possibility of expressing the true yearning of the human heart and soul to reach the Divine presence, points out the Chosen Messenger of our times. 

Read the extracts from the Sermon:

Allah has said:

“Whoever shows enmity to a friend (servant) of Mine, I shall be at war with him. My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religions duties I have imposed upon him, and My servant continues to draw near me with Nawafil so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears: his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask something of Me, I would surely give it to him. And were he to ask refuge, I would surely grant it to him.” (Bukhari)

What is implicit in this Hadith is that man can transcend the space time barrier and acquire the attributes of divinity, to control his entire environment. This means that he can, by following the Sunna, insures both physical and mental health not only for himself but will also effect changes in his environment. This is the meaning of the successes of all Muslims and the source of their dynamism.

Prayer said with utmost humility and tenderness of heart becomes special prayers, just like a suckling who cannot speak can attain utmost kindness of the mother by weeping, in the same manner the Duah with tears and utmost humility is the most effective way to communicate with God.

There has been sent down an extremely effective, healing and beneficial medicine, from the heaven of mercy. It is easily available in one sense, but rare in another. It appears to be common, but is the most special. It is beyond our description and praise, because it is universal remedy for thousands of diseases. Such a miraculous medicine is Salat, and duah. Prayer is the yearning of the heart to be one with the Creator and an invocation for His blessings.

The study and reflection on the Qur’anic prayers shows that the most common element is the use of words of praise, the praise of God is a prescription for man, which brings him nearer to God.

Deeper understanding of the Qur’anic concept of man and God shows that there is one single straight line, which we may call aim. The line represents the line of life of any being, the upper end is God and the lower end is man. Though the line is one, yet it is unlimited at the upper end, and limited at the other. The innermost yearning of life is to see the end brought together. When man invokes the name of God, man forgets his limitation and sublimates his self with the thought of the unlimited. In the Quran Almighty Allah announces:

“When My servant questions you, concerning Me, then surely I am near. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when He calls Me.” (2:187).

According to the Holy Quran, the purpose of the creation of jinn and mankind is the worship of God, and according to an authentic Hadith, the essence of worship is prayer. Prayer is understood as human communication with God.

Prayer is a practical worship, in which, the believer presents his needs in the presence of God, the Blessed and Exalted, with utmost humility to attain Allah’s mercies and blessings. While the Lord of the world is All-sufficient, man is extremely needy.

The fruit of “Iyyaka Nabudu” (1: 5) – You (alone) we worship – is attained in “Iyyaka Nasta’iin” (1: 5) – You (alone) we ask for help. This is an example through which we can be sure that a special reward of worship is received in the form of acceptance of prayer and divine help.

Here a question may be asked: How many times should the name of God be recited? The answer to this question is given in the Holy Quran: “those who remember God standing and sitting and lying on their side” (3: 192) it means that the prayer and remembrance of Allah should be at all times, so the heart of the true believer be illuminated with that light of heart, through which he can realise the purpose of creation and at last his faith becomes pure and complete and with that complete faith, he says God is truth.

Another advice of the Quran is that prayer and remembrance of God should be done with the tongue of soul, with humility and fear, in a low voice (7: 206), only then, can it enter the heart and become effective. There are many signs of the efficacy of this luminous medicine. The best signs are the shedding of tears with sincerity and prostrations are most liked by God….”.

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